Clearing Out Clutter and Getting Organized

MAY 10, 2005 -- It seems clearing out clutter is a neverending process, and sometimes it takes a good purging to get rid of all the excess paper. The clutter comes in forms of junk mail, expired coupons, old greeting cards and magazines.

News 6 went to the experts for a good lesson in getting organized. Most people like the idea of organization but have trouble putting their papers in order.

Personal organizers Sharon Durgom and Sharon Helton can turn chaos into categories.

Everything from banking and bills to insurance and investments get separated and filed.

Some things need to be kept. Hang onto tax records for seven years. Keep home records and receipts for at least six years.  Keep IRA contributions and legal documents permanently. Items like bills, paycheck stubs and bank records only need to be kept on file for a year.

When you do get rid of your records, make sure to shred them. Durgom says that everyone should have a shredder because of identity theft. Everything has your social security number on it.

Durgom and Helton say getting organized is all about saving time.

The philosophy is simple. If you keep things in order, you'll be able to find what you need.

For more information on getting organized, contact Sharon Durgon at 910-470-5836 or log on to

Reported by Elizabeth Willis